We’re behind in posting our daily blog recaps, but that’s because we’re still going strong over here at Beyond Doggy Day Care! It’s been a jam-packed schedule full of learning and doing (and fun).
It’s difficult to understand the Doglando Way without visiting campus, and it’s the same with BDDC – you’ve just gotta be here to get the full picture. That being said, we hope these short snippets have given you an insight into what we’re accomplishing and experiencing with our amazing crew of attendees.
Alright, lets dive in to Day 3, Friday February 10th.
Starting the day with a Q&A
The morning began with a Q&A session and some more discussion about the various parts of Doglando’s enrichment program.
We’ve had so many excellent questions, which isn’t surprising at all – everything they’re seeing is new. I’ve been reminded over and over again that what we’re doing here doesn’t exist anywhere else. It’s a completely different, innovative, and unique model. But, BDDC’s goal is to bring enrichment to the dog care industry… with any luck, we won’t be the only ones offering TRUE enrichment for long.
Observing a TA (Temperament Assessment)
The morning’s big activity was observing a TA of a new canine enrollee. I walked everyone through the assessment, sharing observations about the dog’s behavior in her new environment.
Our TA’s take a full hour and we observe behavior, movement, and so much more. There’s even some herding practice before introducing the new dog to our Teaching Dogs. After starting in the back porch area, the new pup was ready to meet our amazing Teachers.
Like everything else at Doglando, TA’s follow a specific flow. The attendees watched as the new dog moved from the back porch and into the Sand Lot with a group of our Enrichment Dogs. I moved around the lot quite a bit, so it was great seeing everyone observe so intently.
Integrating a new dog into the environment
Attendees needed to observe a TA, but not just to see an assessment in action. It was also the perfect time to demonstrate how to integrate a new dog into a new environment.
We can talk about the specifics of that at another time, though!
Doglando demos: Blow-offs
After lunch, attendees were able to see and experience more of the Doglando daily flow. Blow-offs were on the agenda once again. Jazzie moved through a series of end-of-day blow-offs beautifully, and the attendees got a closer, more in-depth look at what the process looks like.
We did cover blow-offs in Day 2, but there’s so much to observe and to learn.
There’s one thing in particular that they noticed: The dogs received their blow-offs willingly. We always want to give dogs choices, and then we reinforce when they make the choice that’s most appealing to us. It’s a lot like a negotiation, where we facilitate learning, progression, and skill acquisition.
And you’d better believe we’re using essential oils on our dogs!
Continuing with appropriate terminology
Next, we moved back into talking about terminology. A word was assigned to each person, and they were instructed to use it in a way that is descriptive and consistent with the meaning of the word.
After that everyone was ready to move around and get out of the barn! We made a quick stop at one of our grooming locations, The Dirty Dog, and then it was off to Tibby’s for a delicious New Orleans style dinner.
Attendees and Doglando staff members joined together to eat, drink, and talk about everything that they learned so far this week. Even though we had our own space I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire restaurant could hear us laughing and talking. I know I keep saying this, but what a great group!
(Many, many thanks to Champion Pet Foods, who sponsored our dinner. We’re incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship with this integrity-filled company… more about them in future recap posts!)
Do you have any questions, comments, or thoughts about the things we’re covering in BDDC? Let us know what you’re thinking! And here’s a fun question we’d love to read your answers to: How do you and your pup relax and unwind after a long day or week? It’s easy to get caught up in work and productivity – don’t forget your downtime, though!